Sunday, April 02, 2006

Marital status

Back in the 1990's, when I was the manager of the library's children's department, a patron requested that we get the controversial book Daddy's Roommate. There's a picture in the book of the eponymous Daddy and Roommate sitting on the couch, watching TV, with a bowl of popcorn between them. "There," I said. "That's it. That's the real picture of the 'gay lifestyle.' And do you know what's on that TV? Mary Tyler Moore reruns."

Today I bought the third season of the Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD, and when Amazon offered me a three month trial to their Amazon Prime service, I took them up on it. (I'm not sure it's going to be worth $79 a year, but three months of free two-day shipping? Seems worth a try.) Amazon says the benefit can be shared with "up to four family members living in the same household," so I followed the steps to invite Mike into the service. I was momentarily fearful when I saw I was going to have to label our relationship from a pre-arranged list, but I'm pleased that "Unmarried partner" is one of the options.

I hate forms that ask me for marital status. It's almost never relevant information, and there is seldom a selection that applies. (No, I'm not married; that's unconstitutional. But you can't seriously think I'm single; Mike and I have been together for nearly 16 years.) So hurray for I'm almost grateful enough to pay them the $79 just for this momentary feeling of validation.


Anonymous said...

Yes, hurray for Amazon. Why in heaven's name do they care about your status anyway. Presumably for this deal the important category is HOUSEHOLD.

I've been quietly ranting in my head about how all of a sudden, lesbians and gay men are not using the word partner and retraining themselves to introduce each other as 'my spouse' (worse, lesbians are calling their partners 'wife', a term I personally think is beyond rehabilitation). Why is it that as soon as folks can marry, they join the merry band that makes it seem important to announce your marital status as if that makes you better than those of us who choose not to do so.

Sorry, off my high horse now. Enjoy the free shipping.

yarmando said...

It might be that the important category for Amazon is "family member." So I really do appreciate the recognition that Mike is family.

I still use "partner." I'm not averse to "spouse." Years ago I used to joke that I preferred the term "consort." Or possibly "chewtoy."

Andrew Sullivan refers to his guy as his "fiance." I rather like that. I suppose that Mike and I do intend to marry someday, if only someone would let us.

Cat Herself said...


I prefer to refer to my own Mike as my first husband . . . just so he realizes that it's not a given he'll be my only. Or my lover . . . or whatever. Partner seems so business-like. My great-aunt Winifred, used to refer to whomever she dated (after her hubby of 50 yrs died) as "my friend" but that was a little silly, too.

What about "Bed-mate of Choice"? "Illicit Housemate"?

Nope, you're right, chewtoy is best. Mike agrees.

Mel said...

I've avoided the Amazon Prime offer just because I don't trust myself to be disciplined enough to remember to cancel the service at the end of 3 months.

Did I ever tell you that one of my classmates in vet school lived in the apartment building they used for the exterior shots of MTM's building in the show? We called it "slums in the sky", and it still stands, with all those primary color panels faded and dirty - kind of sad. On the other hand, I do love the MTM statue they have on the corner of the hat toss. Actually, I love the Twin Cities, in general. So many good memories there.